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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  March 5, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EST

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now to wolf blitzer and your situation ream beginning right now. brook, thanks very much. a controversy out of control for rush limbaugh losing more and more advertisers amid the uproar he sparked by calling a contraception advocate, quote, a slut. and new poll into the cnn on this super tuesday eve, offering clues and some surprises ahead of tomorrow's biggest battle for the republican presidential hopefuls. and a sense of urgency as president obama and israeli prime minister, benjamin netanyahu meet to discuss a possible iranian nuclear weapon. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." he's made a fortune stoking
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conservative passions while poking and proding at liberals and rush limbaugh has seen his share of controversies but this time it's different. the outrage he sparked when he called a conception advocate a slut and a prostitute has snowballed, one after the other and major advertisers are pulling their ads from his radio show and there's no sign that the uproar is dying down. lisa sylvester is working the story. what's the latest on rush limbaugh and all his advertisers? >> reporter: hi, wolf, we're up to at least eight advertisers walking away from the show. today on his radio show, limbaugh apologized for his choice of words but does he seem concerned about losing those advertisers? the answer is, no. >> thank you. >> reporter: the reaction was swift and fierce, advertisers are pulling spots from the rush limbaugh show including quicken loans and the latest aol which says, quote, we've monitored the unfolding events and have
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determined that mr. limbaugh's comments are not in line with our values. part of the backlash he faces when he used these fighting words on his february 29th program. >> what does it say about the college co-ed, susan fluke who goes before a congressional committee and said essentially she must be paid to have sex. what does that make her? it makes her a slut, right? it makes her a prostitute. she wants to be paid to have sex. >> reporter: he appeared at a democratic congressional hearing arguing in favor of health care coverage for birth control, but limbaugh didn't back down and, instead, ratcheted it up his attack. >> ms. fluke and the rest of you feminatsis if we're going to payor your contraceptives, we
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want you to post the video on line so we can all watch. >> reporter: saturday, limbaugh issued a meteorology saying, quote, my choice of words was not the best. in an attempt to be humorous i created a national stir and i sincerely apologize for the insulting word choices. and he followed up today on his radio show. >> the apology was heart felt. it was sincere. >> reporter: but that hardly put the issue to rest when groups like the national organization for women are demanding clear channel which syndicates the radio show, pull him off the air altogether. terri o'neal says this is more than an insult against one pattern. she sees it as a broader pattern of comforts attacking women. >> rush's comments are part of a coordinated attack on women's access to birth control. that honestly, has wakened a sleeping giant. >> reporter: limbaugh is taking full aim at groups and accusing them of trying to silence him. he said inflammatory statements gengs sarah palin and other conservatives without being condemned.
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to the advertisers, this message. >> those advertisers who no longer want your business, fine. we'll replace them. it's simple, really. advertising is a business decision. not a social decision. only the leftists try to use extortion, pressure, threats, to silence aposing voices. we don't do that. >> reporter: appeared on the show "the view" not swayed by limbaugh's apologies. >> i don't think that a statement like this issued saying his choice of words was not the best, changes anything. >> right now, rush limbaugh still has the backing of clear channel and there is reportedly, a backlog of advertisers wanting to advertise on his show, wolf. >> we'll see how it washes out. lisa, thank you very much. let's get more now on the political ramifications of this rush limbaugh controversy.
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we have our chief political analyst, gloria borger. this is the last thing the republicans needed because they're having trouble getting women's' support? >> wolf, there's a new nbc news "wall street journal" poll that came out today. the question was about women's attitudes towards the republican party and if you see, 30 favorable. 44% unfavorable. that's not a gender gap right now. that's a gender gulch. this isn't just because of rush limbaugh. if you look back about what's going on in politics lately i think it's a combination of things. rick santorum out there on the cultural and social issues. you've had this issue of contraception which the republicans wanted to make into an issue of personal liberty, role of government. and it's been turned on its head now and that is becoming a problem for republicans who are doing very poorly, wolf, with suburban women. they were up for grabs and right
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now, they're looking at the republican party and saying -- i don't think so. >> let's talk about super tuesday, tomorrow, we have a brand new cnn orc poll and two of the most critical states. georgia, the largest delegate count tomorrow. likely republican voters tomorrow in georgia, newt gingrich, who some georgia, 47%. way ahead of mitt romney, 24%. santorum, 15% and 9% for ron paul in georgia. look at ohio right now. look at how close it is in ohio with this brand new cnn orc poll. romney and santorum both at 32%. gingrich at 14% and ron paul, 11%. it's a dead heat, gloria in ohio. >> it's a dead heat. very tight. a week ago santorum was ahead and now mitt romney seems to have the momentum and let's look at why. first of all there's the issue of momentum. mitt romney has had five wins in a row. after a while, electability
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argument makes itself and the inevitability argument come into play. catholics, of all things, mitt romney is up with catholics by six points. if you look back at the rick santorum campaign remember when he said the jfk speech on the separation between church and state made him want to throw up? he's since said that was not a good choice of words but, again, it's hurt santorum with catholic voters. and women, we talked about how republicans are having real problems with women. but among republicans, mitt romney consistently does well with female voters. this will all help him in the state of ohio. >> what does santorum need to do to pull it off? >> santorum can win in a whole bunch of ways. this is a tight race and it's close. here's where he's got the advantage digging deeper into our poll. the tea party voters up ten points. this is a group romney has consistently had trouble with.
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evangelical voters, again they like mitt romney and the conservative voters, up eight points with conservatives. very skeptical about mitt romney. and you cannot have a republican nominee who provided the basis for barack obama's health care plan. >> it's tied between santorum and romney in ohio. they close to polls tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. eastern. it could be a long night before they finish counting all the ballots. thank you very much. right now romney and santorum are focusing in on ohio and the grand prize in tomorrow's super tuesday voting. our senior correspondent joe johns is in columbus. joe, what's the latest there? >> reporter: well, wolf, rick santorum just finished up an event here in the columbus area and he's headed to cleveland. he's really been trying to lower the expectations here in ohio, even as the polls show him in a
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dead heat with mitt romney. with his lead in the polls in ohio now looking more like a thing of the past, rick santorum was hammering home a few simple themes in the last day before super tuesday. the first theme was how badly he's been outspent by romney and his supporters. by santorum's estimate the ratio is something like 12-1. when you count the money of his campaign proper and the money from the pro romney super pac. >> i come to the people of ohio as a candidate who shouldn't be here. shouldn't be here if you looked at any political expert and you look at the money that's been spent, the air time that's been given. but we're here for a reason. because on experience, on principle, on values, on energy, and enthusiasm and grit.
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>> in a conference call santorum couldn't have been clearer on how he's framing the race. >> to suggest the david and goliath is probably a little bit of an understatement. >> but santorum was getting help from his friends. robocalls from conservatives were blanketing the state attacking romney for his stands on gay issues. >> when you vote tomorrow, please vote for social sanity and rick santorum, not for homosexuality and mitt romney. >> one of the main things the santorum campaign is hoping could bring romney down to size is an attack on his health care plan in massachusetts. polls show most registered voters in swing states don't like the president's health care plan and think the individual mandate in the plan is unconstitutional. so santorum has been pointing out the similarities between the president's plan and romneys plan in massachusetts. >> so not only did governor romney institute the first government-run health care system in this country with romney care. he instituted at a state level.
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but he recommended to president obama that he adopt romney care as the template for obama care and guess what? they did. >> romney, by the way, was pushing back and repeating his promise to repeal obama health care. >> our plan dealt with the 80% of the people in my state that didn't have insurance. obama care deals with 100% of the people. it takes over health care for everyone. it's not just about the uninsured. it's about all of health care. it doesn't make health care better. it makes health care worse. >> regardless of the outcome here in ohio, rick santorum appears to have a very full schedule, booked all the way through at least with end of the week, expected to go to kansas, missouri, alabama and mississippi, wolf. >> a week from tomorrow, alabama and mississippi, their contest is coming up. joe, thanks very, very much. an american jewish reporter
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murdered by terrorists and now we're learning baptized after his death by mormons. he was baptized by the mormons. the widow of daniel pearl is speaking out to cnn about the controversy. and this is close to launching a strike against iran's nuclear program. details and expert analysis and my personal take as well on president obama's meeting with the israeli prime minister. ♪ ♪ one, two, three, four ♪ you say ♪ flip it over and replay ♪ we'll make everything okay
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jack cafferty is here with the cafferty file. 4 in 10 americans say the u.s. economy is growing and that's up from 27% last april and only 3% in 2008. the flip side of this new usa today gallup poll is 46% say the economy is in a recession or a depression. but they survey definitely suggests that there's growing optimism about the state of the economy and it's reflected among both men and women, among all age groups, religions, regions of the country and political parties. politics plays a role here. democrats, nonwhites and shelf-described liberals are the most likely to say the economy is growing while republicans and conservatives are the least likely to see the glass as half full. what might be a sign of concern for president obama is about half of the independents say that we're in a recession or a depression. there are several factors causing concern for lots of americans when it comes to their personal economy. housing market -- that's the biggest asset for most of us.
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it's still in trouble. home prices recently fell to their lowest point in more than a decade. and then surging gas prices which affect almost everyone in one way or another. triple-a says gas prices hit a national average $3. 77 a gallon, and have risen for 27 straight days. some states almost at $4 a gallon and we're hearing five talked about. some economists worry gas prices could be the tipping point that brings on a new economic downturn but not today. here's the question -- in your personal economy improve something go to cnn.com/cafferty file and post on my blog on our situation room facebook page. hughes your economy, wolf? >> like everybody else, we're watching it very close which. we have to.
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the controversy that comes ten years after the gruesome murder of daniel pearl. we have details of the latest, brian? >> wolf, the mormon church has apologized recently for doing this kind of thing and mormon officials say they're getting to the bottom of it but daniel pearl's family after going through such intense pain after his death is angry that he's now part of the controversy. reading a statement confirms thats he was jewish. a decade later, murdered reporter daniel pearl, is caught up in the religious and brushfire. it's been discovered that pearl was baptized in june of last year. >> i'm shocked by the fact that, anybody would do something like this, really. >> reporter: i spoke with pearl's widow, maryann, via skype, from her home in spain. >> if you had honest intention the least you would do is
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contact can family and explain what is going on and why you would want to do that and seek their approval. i think that would be the normal course of things. so the fact that the church didn't find it necessary to do these kinds of things and to be respectful, really, to his parents, i think, is a problem. >> reporter: researcher helen ratky, a former mormon, who discovered this and she calls this one of the most appalling cases she's come across. >> i'm incensed that this was done secretly and behind the backs of danielle's widow and his parents. >> reporter: contacted by cnn, daniel pearl's parents issued a statement saying they appreciate the good intentions but danny did not choose to be baptized nor did his family consent to the uncalled for ritual. this comes after recent discoveries that jooish victims of the holocaust were given mormon baptisms by proxy.
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the mormon officials say the baptisms are against their policy and it's distressing when someone willfully violates the rules and say mormons are only supposed to request post post hugh house but he do it because they believe people need to be baptized as mormons to get into heaven. at tend, a captivating image, their 9 and a half year old son, adam, who never saw his father, sat down with his mother sfwhee what do you say to adam about the whole concept of the tolerance that religions have for each other? >> i'm a buddhist and i have very strong feelings that, you know, the world would be a much better place if people could choose their religion. >> maryann pearl says she has a lot of faith and trust in her son and wants him to make his own choice about religion when the time is right.
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wolf? >> brian, do they know who baptized daniel pearl? will they punish that person? >> we pressed them and the officials said they don't know who did it but on punishment they said when they find out who does it they will deny their basis in the database. over the weekend, a letter was read to mormon congregations worldwide, basically telling people to stop this. and saying that the corrective action will be taken if they don't stop it, including denying them access to family and church privileges. >> brian, thanks as usual. the iran nuclear issue taking center stage and president obama meets with benjamin netanyahu over at the white house. last time they met there were some tense words in front of the television cameras. did it happen again today? and i'll talk to two of the world's leading experts in the region about whether or not strikes own iran are imminent. stay with us. you're in "the situation room."
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iran's nuclear program at the top of the agenda at the white house. a meeting between the president of the united states and theously prime minister, benjamin netanyahu. they want to stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon but netanyahu emphasized that israel is in control of its own security. >> we do believe that there is still a window that allows for a
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diplomatic resolution to this issue, but ultimately the iranians regime has to make a decision to move n that direction. a decision that they have not made thus far. and as i emphasized, even as we will continue on the diplomatic front, we'll continue to tighten pressure when it comes to sanctions, i reserve all options and my policy here is not going to be one of containment. my policy is prevention of iran obtaining nuclear weapons. >> i think that above and beyond that, are two long-standing principles of american policy you reiterated yesterday in your speech. that they must must have the ability, always, to defend itself by itself, against any threat. and that when it comes to
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israel's security, israel has the sovereign right to make its own decisions. i believe that's why you appreciate, mr. president, that israel must reserve the right to defend itself. and after all, that's the very purpose of the jewish state, to restore to the jewish people control over our destiny. and that's why my supreme responsibility as prime minister of israel, is to ensure that israel remains the master of its fate. >> all right, let's dig deeper with two men who have written extensively about this. we have a national correspondent for the "the atlantic" magazine and we have the contributor to the "new york times" sunday magazine. ronan, first to you, if they're serious about doing this, why
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are they talking about this public by so much right now? you'd think they'd want to keep things quiet and just do it. >> well, in israel, wolf, you need to differentiate and decide between a conspiracy and just regular sloppiness. you go for the second one. israelis usually talk too much and sometimes, not very obedient and disciplined so israelis talk but there's another point. i think israel is trying to create an alibi so they can say we have declared publicly that if the world will not take a more stand vis-a-vis iran, if the world is not able to stop the iranian nuclear project, that we, as we heard prime minister benjamin netanyahu, we'll decide our own destiny and we'll strike.
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israel, by saying this, by outing this, israel is trying to created a sort of legitimacy or at least, as pointed out by minister of defense, barack. >> and my own sense and jeffrey let me bring you into this conversation. abased on past experience, in 2007 when the israelis bombed a syrian nuclear reactor no one talked about it and no one knew the syrians had a nuclear reactor and same thing in 1981 when they bombed the i are can you nuclear bomb. they are trying to put pressure on the u.s. to get this military option under way as opposed to the israelis themselves. you met with the president, what's yours? >> well, i mean, that explanation is highly plausible. and let's not forget that this is not the equivalent of the iraq operation or the syria operation. this is a very, very complicated mission. and not only that, it's a mission against a country that's also america's premiere
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adversary in the middle east and so the israelis understand full well they could be drawing fire on to america as well as themselves if they try to preemplt iran's nuclear program so i think those are a couple of explanations about why this is being talked about so much. but i think your analysis is correct. what netanyahu did today and what he's trying to do, is understand exactly how far obama will go. because obviously, his own military experts are telling him that as good as the israeli air force is, it's not as big or as good or as far-reachinging as the american air force. and so, obviously, if you're an adversary of iran, you're going to want the most potent air force in the world to do this jooib so that's part of the conversation as well. >> the israelis certainly don't have the bunker-busting equipment bombs that the u.s. has. ronan, if you look at the situation and you've been
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writing a lot about that lately. my own sense is that the israelis -- they think he would be much more assertive and supportive of them this year, election year, as opposed to next year. do you think that's a factor in the israeli deliberation? >> it is, but some israelis say president obama might like to fulfill his own promise and he's determined to prevent iran from becoming a nuclear state and after winning the election, might do it himself. but the time frame of the iranian nuclear project does not allow israel to have this sort of time because iran is going to enter the so-called "zone of immunity" during 2012. therefore, i would say that prime minister netanyahu wanted from the president and as far as i know he did not get, are
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assurances that if the u.s. and israeli intelligence learn during 2012 or afterwards, the supreme leader of iran, have ordered the beginning of production of real warhead, then the u.s. would go to a military strike. and the president, president obama, did not give such assurances. therefore, from the israeli perspective, the pressure on the u.s. has not yielded the sufficient result and israel remains with the decision by itself, whether to strike or not. >> because as you noted in your interview, jeffrey, last week in the atlantic when you sat down with the president and discussed this, there seems to be a difference as far as the so-called "red line" is concerned. president obama says there's no containment as far as iran having a nuclear bomb but the israelis say their red line is the capability of iran to build a nuclear bomb, not wait until they actually have one. that's a significant nuance and
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a significant difference between the u.s. and the israelis. >> right. the most important red line in effect is a functional red line which is to say, the israeli red line is when we no longer can actually take out this iranian nuclear program militarily and for the israelis, that comes a lot sooner than it does for the americans because of the american capability. because the american military capability. so -- this is the nub of the entire controversy and the nub of the entire problem that they were discussing today in the white house. that the core of this is -- barack obama can be more relaxed about this? even if he thinks that he's going to stop the iranian program he doesn't have to think about it today. he has the capabilities that netanyahu doesn't have so netanyahu was trying to figure out if he doesn't do this, will obama ultimately do it? that's the core of the
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conversation they had in the white house today. >> and you've written about the disagreements within israel, the intelligence community, the military establishment of israel. yes, the prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, the defense minister, ehud barak, but military and intelligence leaders they disagree on the inevitability or talk about the differences in israel. >> there's some leaders or former leaders of the security establishments who maintain, like the former director of the musad, i had is no critical. there's still time. the sword is not on our neck. the mayor told me and others in the military who maintain israel cannot protect its own civilians from the inevitable day-after effect. the reign of fire and at the end
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of the day, the minister of defense, barack, when i asked him about that, he says, i'm in favor of a debate. i can hear everybody but at the end of the day, the leaders of the military look up. they see myself and the prime minister with benjamin netanyahu. when we look up we see nothing but the sky. the faith of the jewish people and the jewi state son our shoulders and we must take a decision during 2012. >> ronan and jeffrey goldberg, thanks for coming in. the story is not going away. we'll stay on top of it. paul begala has a serious political warning about a israeli strike against iran and he's standing by to discuss this and rich galen. and we'll talk about the rush limbaugh controversy and it's potential impact on the entire republican party. ♪
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less talk about rush limbaugh, his excepts, his apology and the impact on the republican party. joining me is our democratic strategy and cnn contribute tore, paul begala and rich galen. rich, how much of a problem is this for republicans right now? >> right now it's a problem because everybody is being asked to talk about it but the election isn't until november. by that time, this will be -- won't be talking about. >> do you agree with that? >> yeah. the problem they have, and i said this two years ago, rush limbaugh is the leader of the republican party. he's their intellectual leader. he's the leader of the republican party. intellectual leader. once it was william f. buckley and now it's rush limbaugh and they're going to have to deal with it. he's the face and the voice of the republican party. >> rich?
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>> i'm sorry, i have a big problem. i couldn't hear. >> is rush limbaugh, as paul says, the leader of the republican party? >> i'm sorry, wolf. >> is rush limbaugh the leader of the republican party as paul says? >> no, of course not. he's a radio commentator and he has millions of listeners. the notion of anybody changing their vote, and he doesn't do this that i believe. i don't think that he actually says -- vote for so and so -- and then people who are going to vote tore so and so say they will. that's not what he does. he does things that generate these kinds of activities that generate these kinds of controversies that generate new listeners and he's wonderful at it but he certainly isn't the leader of the republican party. >> a lot of people are tweeting me and sending me e-mails, paul, saying, bill maher, who just gave $1 million to the pro obama super pac and you're involved in that. he used a very vile word in
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describing sarah palin, not that long ago, what's called the "c" word, if you will. no up with is suggesting among the democrats right now that that money should be returned from that super pac. are you guys considering that at all? >> no, certainly not. here's why. i love bill maher and i'm a big fan but that word is offensive. inappropriate in any setting. but the fact that that didn't blow up in bill's face and this did. a three-second joke about a very, very powerful figure, sarah palin, one of the most powerful people in america, versus a three-day rant against a very vulnerable young woman, a law student. bill is poking fun with offensive language, but poking fun at powerful people. that's what he does. rush is a bully. he's attacking, bitterly, an innocent woman who's not a powerful person and has no real capacity to respond. rush is a bully and bill is a comedian.
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>> as far as they possibly can. i've done bill maher's show, it was a great experience but not something you go home and tell your mom you were just involved with or listened to or watch. they use words as weapons and they both use them to their own benefit and they're both very good at it, by the way. >> my mom, a nateful parishioner at the catholic church loves bill maher and she loves his show. >> let me read to you from your blog today and i want you to elaborate a little bit. we don't have too much time, paul. you wrote, support fors rail is one of the last issues that most democrats and republicans agree so an israeli strike against iranian nuclear installations could quickly involve the united states. oil prices could sky rocket and terrorism against americans could spike oversays and here at home. the political fallout is impossible to predict. what's the point you're trying
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to make here? >> people like me are paid to think about politics. i have every faith our president and the israeli prime minister are looking at this strictly from the security issue. i'm not a general, president or prime minister. but the politics are very very difficult. first off, i think and i point out in my article, people will rally around the president at first when the terrorists took over our in embassy in tehran. and rerallied around carter and pushed him to a looed over reagan but the rally didn't last. as the crisis went on we abandoned carter and ray gone won in a landslide. people that think this is in the bag to have barack obama are nuts. trees a thousand banana peels from now and election day. >> we don't know what's going to happen next tuesday, much less eight months down the road. >> thanks very much, paul and rich. let's dig deeper into the tensions with iran. erin burnett will be "out
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front." you're looking at the messaging. what's this all about? >> it's been very interesting, wolf. today you were writing about it on your blog and you had the photo op and some icy body language, but certainly, in terms of the words, friendship between barack obama and benjamin netanyahu. but it does seem that they're still on not really on the same page when it comes to sanctions. the president thinks there's further to go down the path of sanctions than the israeli prime minister thinks. wolf, one thing i want to hone in on the question of sanctions, in order for this to work oil has to be fully included. right now, oil really isn't fully included. you know, i was looking at the numbers. over the past couple of months, china, as you know is the biggest buyer of a rain yen crude oil, had sharply cut back its purchases and i thought, maybe that's an indication they're going to get on board with the sanctions which could be transformative. but it looks like perhaps what
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they were doing is dramatically cut back to scare the iranians and lock up a supply for the rest of the year at a cheaper price. but as long as iran keeps selling their oil on the global market they'll keep getting money and that's crucial and that's what the president is trying to choke off. the can is, how long will benjamin netanyahu wait. i looked at your blog and it seems to be a little bit longer than, perhaps, he had indicated to leon panetta a few weeks ago. >> yeah. we'll be listening and watching your show later tonight, erin, 7:00 p.m. eastern "erin burnett out front." thanks for the plug for my blog, too, cnn.com slesh situation room. read it. riveting video of the tornado disaster coming in from a cnn eye reporter and he describes a scene and i'm quoting -- like the end of the world. plus, britain's prince harry, rescued by the news mauea in the caribbean.
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on top of everything else, show is complicating the clean
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up and recovery efforts in kentucky and indiana after a series of devastating tornadoes swept across the south and midwest. in all, 39 people were killed across five states. these pictures from a cnn aye reporter in indiana showed the terrifying power of one of the storms. here's more now of the dramatic i-report as the storm let hen henryville, indiana. >> we got to get out of the house. >> look at that! >> holy, cow, my friend lives right over there, too.
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>> in all the that storm system brought at least 42 tornados to ten states. other news, syrian troops where expanding their violent crackdown on the opposition. lisa sylvester is monitor that and other top stories in "the situation room." what's going on. >> hi, wolf, according to a human rights group linked to the opposition, at least eight people were killed in cities across the country including a 14-year-old shot by a sniper. government security forces are stepping up raised and have detained hundreds of civilians. they say as many as 2,000 refugees have crossed into lebanon since yesterday. thousands of people are rallying on the streets of russia after vladimir putin seems to have easily won re-election for the presidency. demonstrations for and against him are taking place today. putin said he, quote, won and opened and honest fight. but the international observers
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say they observed ballot stuffing and other irregularities in about a third of the polling stations they monitor. he got more than 63% of a vote, easily avoiding a runoff. and these pictures are proof that things don't always go as planned even for british royalty. a speedboat carrying britain's prince harry broke down in the bahamas and in another strange twist, he was rescued by, guess who? the media. a media boat took him to his destination. the prince is on a tour of the caribbean to mark the 60th anniversary of his grandmother's succession to the thrown. lots of folks with happy to meet prince harry. >> thank god for the news media as we like to say. jack cafferty is asking -- ask your personal economy improve something that's coming up. and a new report from the nfl on professional football players being paid extra money to injure, yes, to try to injure opponents on the field.
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we have information about a secret nfl memo and that's coming up. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." m with our smartphone app. you name it, we're here, anytime, anywhere, any way you want it. that's the way i need it. any way you want it. [ man ] all night? all night. every night? any way you want it. that's the way i need it. we just had ourselves a little journey moment there. yep. [ man ] saw 'em in '83 in fresno. place was crawling with chicks. i got to go. ♪ any way you want it ♪ that's the way you need it ♪ any way you want it ♪
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jack's back once again with
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the cafferty file. >> wolf, the question is, how is your personal economy improving? gallup did a poll where 40% of the folks said things were looking up. joan writes -- when my husband was laid off our personal economy took a large hit, he's had a few interviews but nobody has picked him up. i read the news reports about the improvement of our national economy but that's not happening at home. kim writes, i'm a freelance writer for ten years and my workload plummeted in 2008-2009. and in 2010, many kwlooints and editors who budgets have downsized starting calling me and i'm busier than ever. joe wrooits -- no. every time i think it is, i have to get gas again and if that isn't enough my job is coming to an end in nine weeks. andrea writes -- if i were receiving so-called money from the government i would say its getting better but if i'm like the 50% who pays taxes the
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economy stinks. the question should be, are you better off than your were four years ago? and the answer is a big, fat, no. and frank writes, january and february have been the best months for month so i do see the improvement. keith writes, it hurts to say it's getting better but being in the 1% i win either way. if the economy improves under obama i win. if romney wins he'll reward those that put him in the oval office and i win again. jeff in minnesota says, if that means it sucks a little bit less i suppose it's improving but i still feel like i'm losing ground. if you want to read more, go to my blog on cnn.com/cafferty file or our post on the facebook page. >> thanks, jack. we're learning right now, new details about what actually happened inside the oval office behind the closed doors when president obama and israeli
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i are i can iraqi which terrorists kill dozens of police officers. lisa is monitoring that. >> at least 27 police officers are dead after dozens of gunmen disguised as government security forces and carrying fake arrest warrants, entered the city of hadifa and the gunmen are said to have arrived in the middle of the night in a caravan of black suvs. they used forged arrest warrantses to deceive the local police and at one point, convincing a group of officers to turn off their cell phones before killing them. later with a shootout with local authorities the gunmen raised the black flag of the state of iraq, a group linked to al qaeda in iraq. authorities say three gunmen were killed and the rest managed to flee. in ireland, police with studying security footage after the preserved heart of the city's patron saint was stolen.
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the 900-year-old heart was kept in a wooden box inside a iron cage and authorities say the bars of the cage were found wrenched opened. but there are no other signs of a breakin so a mystery there, wolf. >> indeed. lisa, thank you. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, a key u.s. senator, john mccain, the first to publicly call for the united states to take direct military action in syria. why he says time is running out. plus, the heroic neighbor and the sole survivor in a desperate effort to a family of five, including a baby, from the vicious northwest tornados. now he's haunted by one question, did they die because of him? and nfl players allegedly paid to hurt, to hurt their rivals on the football field! the latest on a stunning secret bounty program exposed. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. breaking news, political
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headlines and jeanne moos all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." we have your back, president obama's direct words to the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu assuring him the united states and israel stand together in the face of a mounting nuclear threat from iran. the critical issue was front and center for both leaders in talks over at the white house today. our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin is over at the white house. ivan watson is in istanbul monitoring what's going on. he's just back from iran. jessica, first, to you, how did it go at the white house today? >> reporter: wolf, the senior administration official said the meeting between president obama and prime minister benjamin netanyahu was wide ranging and
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productive. the total meeting lasted more than three hours. both in a oval office and then lunch with their respective delegations and ubld expect an official to say it was productive but the sense one gets is that this meeting was not intended, necessarily, to make decisions. but to make clear for each leader, to the other, where each nation stands on the all-important decision, where they are when it comes to monumental choices about iran's nuclear program. with the world audience watching every move, the u.s. president and israeli prime minister emphasized common ground. >> the bond between our two countries unbreakable. >> we are you and you're us. we're together. >> reporter: but when it comes to halting iran's nuclear program, the differences are clear. the president pushing for more time before considering a military strike. first, at the apack conference.
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>> the international community has the responsibility to use the time and space that exists. >> reporter: and then in the oval office. >> we believe there's still a window that allows for a diplomatic resolution to the issue. >> reporter: the israeli primaries says he'll decide when the window closes. >> when it comes to israel's security, israel has the right, the sovereign right to make its own decisions. i believe that's why you appreciate, mr. president, that israel must reserve the right to defend itself. >> the israeli prime minister and his supporters say they feel a heightened sense of urgency because of israel's history, small size and limited ability to inflict harm on iran's nuclear installations. but if he's seeking assurances -- >> i suspect the president, unwilling to give the prime minister an iron-clad guarantee that he'll strike, is going to try to reassure him that at the end of the day, if that becomes necessary, then barack obama will act.
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>> reporter: still, perhaps to soothe israel's fears, the president has sharpened his public language on iran. >> i do not have a policy of containment. i have a policy to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. i will take no options off the table and i mean what i say. that includes all elements of american power. >> reporter: when these meetings wrap up, expect the leader's public statements to emphasize unity, because -- >> it's too big to fail on this one. no one is looking for a fight. no one can afford a fight. the two have to send an unmistakable signal to the iranians and the chaenz, the russians, the europeans and each of their respective political establishments that they're standing shoulder-to-shoulder on this one. >> wolf, as you well know, this all comes in the middle of a presidential election year here in the u.s. and both the president and his top administration officials are emphasizing what they call,
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quote, loose talk of war by elected officials, presidential candidates and pundits is only helping iran. why? because they say it's helping to drive up oil prices and iran relies on that oil and all the money that's coming from the high oil prices to fund its nuclear program. wolf? >> good point, thanks very much, jessica yellin at the white house. let's bring in ivan watson from istanbul in turkey but he spent the last several days in iran. ivan, in iran and you were there, you saw what's going on. do people seem to be very worried about the possibility of war? >> reporter: actually, wolf, compared to previous visits, say, 2003 and 2005, no iranians came up to me and said i'm afraid we're going to get bombed. that's the question i was getting nearly ten years ago, eight years ago at other times where in washington, politicians were beating the war drums when it came to iran. ordinary people didn't seem to
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think that it was possible the u.s. would bomb there. but the government was very actively and effectively using american and israeli threats to try to motivate people to vote in last friday's parliamentary elections. it was running a constant stream of propaganda, an enormous public relation's campaign arguing that the u.s. does not want you to vote. and, thus, it is your patriotic duty to rush to the polls and participate in the election, while not really offering a political platform to speak of, aside from the threat of the ugs. so the iranian regime has been very effective at using these threats to mobilize people and it's very interesting. there's a spokesman for that opposition green movement, that was crushed after posing a real threat to the legitimacy of the iranian government just three years ago. and that spokesman wrote in an op ed piece, there are ord line circles within the regime there
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that would view a western attack on iran as a blessing, because it would give the regime the iranian flag, patriotism, to wrap themselves around and to bring, perhaps, portions of iranian society that do not support the regime, to come and support them in the face of a foreign threat and active aggression, wolf? >> ivan, based on your eyewitness observations, anecdotally, do these international sanctions on iran seem to be making a difference as far as the day-to-day lives of iranians? >> no question, wolf, that there is increased economic hardship in iran and that's come really, within the course of the last few months. with the iranian currency dropping, losing half of its value against the u.s. dollar and the iranian regime trying to put in place mechanisms to stop black-market trade of iranian
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currency in the streets of iranian cities and towns. that's driving up import prices. people involved in doing things like importing jeans from turkey here, across the border to iran, they're seeing that the prices have gone up so much they're on the virge of losing their businesses. that's what one businessman told me. whether or not that's a direct result of sanctions or bad economic policy is not clear. wolf? >> ivan watson on the scene for us. glad he's out safe and sound from iran. now to do bloodshed in syria where government troops are said to be ramping up raids and arrests all over the country. at least eight people have been reportedly killed today and hundreds of civilians have been detained. meanwhile, here in the united states, first public call for u.s. air strikes in the region from a prominent u.s. senator. john mccain, on the powerful armed services committee, he said the crisis has reached, in his words, a decisive moment.
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>>time is running out. assad's forces are on the march. providing military assistance to the free syrian army, and other opposition groups as necessary. but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives. the only realistic way to do so is with foreign air power. therefore, at the request of the syrian national council, the free syrian army and local coordinating committees inside the country, the united states should lead an international effort to protect key population centers in syria, especially in the north, through air strikes on assad's forces. >> senator mccain says the ult that goal of the air strikes is to establish safe havens for opposition forces as well as the delivery of humanitarian and military aid. so what would this type of
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action require of the pentagon? here's our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. you're getting reaction to what senator mccain is no proposing. >> absolutely, wolf. look, obama administration is maintaining its position senior officials tell us that they are not looking at military action right now. they know what senator mccain has said. he's very respected on the matter. but the facts are these. if the u.s. wants to go in, it would require manned aircraft. manned fighters and bomber aircraft, putting u.s. pilot into syrian airspace. very risky business. the syrians have a very capable air defense system. that's surface-to-air missiles radar, command, control installations. you have to take that out. you have to back in a moment your way in. senator mccain, very well aware of this and it could take days or weeks to do it and while the air campaign is going on, the
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question, of course, is what would syrian forces be doing on the ground? how would they already be on the move? again, syrian civilians, the feeling is it could lead to a further rise in violence. but it's a very tough situation because sear yen civilians clearly are suffering, and it's growing by the day, wolf. >> the obama administration officials keep saying that syria is not libya, very different situation. we heard that in the nato secretary general when he was here in the situation room last week. we're also hearing, barbara, the united states is sees direct evidence that iran is becoming increasingly involved in the syrian crackdown by the syrian president bashar al assad. what's this information? >> that complicates all of this, doesn't it? u.s. officials say they have the intelligence that shows iran is increasingly involved sending in money, training, equipment, specifically, they say they are seeing evidence of
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computer-based tracking tools so that the syrian regime is getting this from iran and better able to track down the communications of the opposition forces, and therefore, able to target them more precisely. some of this has been going on for months but officials are telling us that they are seeing growing involvement by iran, underscores the ultimate dilemma. iran is not going to let syria go quietly. it's an important ally for the iranian regime. they want to hold on to it and they're not about to give up on the asaad regime. that's the assessment of the u.s. intelligence community, wolf. >> barbara, thank you. just months after the death of a key american al qaeda figure in yemen, president obama's administration defends the controversial to kill him. the attorney general of the united states, eric holder, says targeting u.s. citizens with alleged terrorist ties oversays is lawful and at least in certain circumstances.
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among them, and i'm quoting the attorney general right now, if if the just government has determined after author row and careful review that the individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the united states. civil liberties groups have slammed the decision since it denies such u.s. citizens their judicial rights. only seconds to react before being sucked almost 50 feet into the sky! >> i had already grabbed the little girl and she had -- the car seat, i told her, run, run to the house. i knew we were done right at that moment. >> a neighbor's heroic but failed attempt to save an entire family from the devastating tornados. >> and mitt romney brings out the big guns in the final push before super tuesday. will former first lady, barbara bush, help him seal the deal? and the nfl engulfed in a major scandal right now the secret bounty program that paid
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rush limbaugh's comments have cost him a radio station in hawaii. kupa is dropping rush limbaugh after his attack on a woman that testified on capitol hill in favor of the contraception. he called her a slut and a prostitute. the station said his comments crossed the line of decency and his delivery was degrading. limbaugh also lost several advertisers in the uproar over his comments. let's go to jack cafferty for "the cafferty file." >> that story is not going to be over for a while either.
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super august might finally bring some clarity to the messy republican primary race or not. mitt romney could be able to wind this thing down with a strong showing in tomorrow's ten contests for starterses with he's picking up endorsements from influential conservatives assign that the party is maybe rei can to erally around him. john ashcroft, through his support for romney, oklahoma senator, tom coburn, boast fiscal conservatives are backing romney as well. romney is also back on top now in the national polls. but to capitalize on all this momentum he has to deliver tomorrow. the biggest prize is ohio. where romney is neck-in-neck with rick santorum. how that's possible, i have no idea, after trailing him at one point by double digits. a ronald any win in ohio would help to consolidate support among the working-class voters. however, a santorum win could mean the whole race will drag on longer. also at play, a couple of
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southern states. if romney would manage to win in tennessee or georgia, that would be huge. newt gingrich taking the future of his campaign of georgia, his home state welcome and he'll probably win that. ron paul acknowledges his chances are slim but he seems to be in this for the long haul. top republicans are spreading the message a long nomination battle will minimize their chances of defeating president obama in november. but as we've seen since the first contact in january, republican voters are capable of surprising everybody, even themselves. here's the question -- will super tuesday clarify the gop situation? or further confuse things? go to cnn.com/cafferty file and post your comment on my blog or our post on "the situation room"'s facebook page. big night tomorrow night. you're going to be up late. >> i'll be up very, very late, ten contests, we'll have extensive coverage of course. the big prize is ohio. after trailing roixs in the state, mitts has seen a surge over the past several days.
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is it enough to carry him to victory in ohio? our nationally political correspondent jim acosta is in ohio. what's the latest, jim? >> reporter: wolf, the big question is whether or not all the momentum swinging in mitt romney's direction is enough to put him over the top and put the rest of his rivals away in this gof gop field. but for now in ohio, it's shaping up to be a buckeye nail biter. >> i hope i get the support of the people of ohio tomorrow. >> reporter: on the day before super tuesday, team romney is out to seal the deal and the closing argument is on the troubled economy. candidate said he can fix it. >> i understand why jobs come and why they go. other people in this race have debated about the economy. >> reporter: the candidate's wife said, she can feel it. >> my grandfather started working in a coal mine when he was 6 years old in wales. >> reporter: in a clear sign
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it's gaining momentum, the romney campaign has racked up more endorsements. former attorney general, john ashcroft, oklahoma senator, tom coburn. >> that's the best man to lead the country for the next four years. >> reporter: and it's running robocalls in ohio from former first lady, barbara bush. >> give credit to governor romney and what he's been able to put together. an enormous amount of money. but this race isn't going to be won or lost in the fall on money. >> reporter: but rick santorum is warning republicans to slow down. >> that's why i ask the people of ohio to think hard and look deep. look into the ideas of the candidate. >> reporter: his campaign is hitting the mandate of romney's health care law for the president's health care plan. they blasted this column entitled "mr. president what's the rush?" it states there's a better way. the lessons we learned in massachusetts could help washington find it. no other state has made as much progress in covering their
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uninsured as massachusetts. a radio ad for a pack raising money for santorum says romney should be on the democratic ticket. >> not too much difference between these two. obama swlsh romney, 2012. i love it. >> a subject that concerns even romney supporters like this woman who pressed the candidate on the issue at a town hall. >> i need an emphatic yes from you, that you will repeal obama care. >> why would i not. >> $2.50 a gallon, newt gingrich is your candidate. >> reporter: and newt gingrich, focused on the economy with his promise to lower gas prices to $2.50 a gallon told cnn romney can't be trusted. >> he can't close the deal and he can't close the deal this part because people inherently don't trust what he's saying and think that he's not always candid. >> reporter: but the republicans we found in ohio seemed resigned to romney as their nominee and plan to vote accordingly. >> i wish christie was out there. if he was out there i'd be all over voting for him.
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but as it is, i'm going to vote for romney. >> reporter: the romney campaign is confident it will win the lion's share of delegates up for grabs on super tuesday and it's starting to send a warning to congress, get in line. a message from romney advisers spoken to many of the reporters over the weekend, who do you want on the ticket? us or rick santorum? wolf? >> jim, thanks very much. jim will be busy tomorrow. we'll all be busy tomorrow on super tuesday. at 12:00 noon eastern, cnn's political team and i will host the cnn election roundtable. a live insider chat about the big day's implications for the presidential race. that's cnn.com/roundtable. noon eastern tomorrow. backlash and fury from muslim students saying the government is spying on them. is the government surveillance program going too far? both sides of the argument coming up. and a heart-breaking story from indiana.
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our look at this unbelievable video captured by a cnn i reporter in indiana. as a horrifying tornado ripped through the area on friday. in all 35 people were killed in five states and one of the most recent victims, a baby initially found alive in a muddy field. she was taken off of life support yesterday. the last in her family to die. the cnn national correspondent susan and candiotti. what a story. can you share it with our views. >> reporter: it's heartbreaking. the debris you see now is all
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that's left after a twister wiped out a family of five, including a toddler named angel. she was found in a blood -- the muddy field you see over my shoulder along with her and her brother and sister. this has been very hard on this community, and especially on the young man who tried to save angel and her family. >> life isn't ever going to be the same. never going to be the same for me again. >> reporter: how could live be the same for jason miller after being the sole survivor of a tornado, a twister that that sucked up sky-high and killed the family of five he was trying to protect, including 14-month-old angel, her 2-year-old brother and 2-month-old sister. when he spotted the tornado outside, he had seconds to react. >> i had already grabbed the little girl and she had the car seat. i told her, run, run for the house. i saw death right there. i knew we were done at that moment. >> you saw death? >> at that moment i knew it was
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over. >> jason miller convinced the babcock family of five to get out of they're smaller trailer and hunker down with him in his double-wide. so they crouched down in the floor in the center of the trailer as the tornado got closer and closer. >> and angel was sitting there and i put my arm kind of over angel and got her to get down, the house got grabbed, it was just like a strong wrench on the house and it started to turn and all of the sudden it just popped loose and it was just -- it was amazing. unbelievable. >> reporter: the house got sucked into the air and so did miller. he blacked out. >> i actually did open my eyes and came to while i was in the air at one point and i don't know how high we were but we did fly up over a saw mill, about 300 or 400 yards when i landed. when i offed my eyes the only thing i could see were pieces of wood churning around me and i remember looking down thinking, at least 50 feet, yoern how i'm getting down. >> he landed in a gravel yard at
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a saw mill about 100 yards away next to a field. people started looking for survivors. >> the man and woman was laying right here behind the saw mill. and all three of the kids was found right in this area. >> reporter: right in the muddy field. one of the babies was still in a baby seat, a car seat? >> yes. i don't know what to say, you know. it's devastating. >> reporter: also devastating for jason miller, who keeps thinking about the babcocks and their children. he wonders if he could have done more. >> i called them over to get killed in my house and there's part of me that at first, it's just very hard to -- to not think that it's kind of my fault. >> reporter: you know it isn't. >> it doesn't matter what i know. it just matters that i called them over to my house and they died. you get sucked up in a house with six people 50 feet in the
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air, ripped apart, break your back and arm and ribs, five booirm that you're holding hands with die! life can't ever be the same again after that. it's too much! >> reporter: jason is suffering from a lot of broken bones. eventually, they will heal. healing emotionally will be much tougher. wolf? >> what a heart-breaking story. only one story but such a heartbreaking one. susan thanks so much for bringing it to our viewers. cnn meteorologist wroorob marceano is in kentucky with snow, not just tornado damage. >> reporter: heavy equipment keeps coming in and out of the town of west liberty. some workers have been allowed to come back in but not residents. one of the reasons is we have three inches of snow last night, that has stopped but it's still covering up a lot of the debris. dangerous debris to begin with.
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nails and sharp objects like glass and sharp metal covered up and slick, making the recovery even more dangerous. on the corner of main, look at this church. the methodist church. over 100 years old and it got clobbered in the storm. the pastor in the storm who was in the basement when the storm went through, managed to survive. he's staying at the hotel i'm staying at. we talked last night. he said, i can't get in there. the building that fared a little better next to the church, i went earlier and i ran into a friend of his working on the roof who came face-to-face with the storm. >> we were panicked. i was really praying for us and i realized i was being selfish and started praying for everybody and i don't think -- i don't know if it helped or not but i did my best. >> that man is anything but selfish. not many selfish people here, i'll tell you that, wolf. everyone trying to get together and make this thing happen. even with the snow last night, another obstacle that they have to overcome but they're getting
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through it. slow, slow recovery but they're making progress. wolf? >> rob marceano, thank you very much. a major decision today that impacts an american citizen in prison in iran and sentenced to death for spying. also, aen earthquake hits california this morning captured by a tv station. you'll see it. that's coming up right here in "the situation room." ashlee! ashlee! what were you looking for when you bought your edge? um, i was definitely looking for fuel economy. that's the whole reason we, we wanted to look at the ecoboost. can you talk a little bit about the style of the edge? um, well, i think it's very hip. i even have several guys were like "whoa, do have twenties on those". like, don't even know what that means, but i guess it's cool. (laugh) today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do?
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bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers. the priceline negotiator went down in that fiery bus crash. yes i was. we lost a beautiful man that day. but we gained the knowledge that priceline has thousands and thousands of hotels on sale every day. so i can choose the perfect one for me without bidding. is it hard for you to think back to that day? oh my, this one has an infinity pool.
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i love those they just... and then drop off, kinda like the negotiator. wolf? that's coming up right here in
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lisa sylvester is monitoring the other top stories in "the situation room" right now including a new attack linked to the bushing of the koran's in afghanistan. what happened, lisa? >> reporter: wolf, officials are denying a taliban claim that 12 american soldiers were killed in a suicide attack at the air field. the taliban called the bombing revenge for the burning of koran and the interior ministry spokesman said two civilians were killed and the taliban
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frequently exaggerates battle losses. iran's supreme court cancelled the death sentence for an american accused of spying but now the case is headed to a lower court for review. both his family and the u.s. government deny the allegations. the 28-year-old former marine was arrested in august while visiting his grandmother and other relatives. and the san francisco bay area got a rude awakening this morning. a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck about 5:30 this morning. the epicenter was four miles north of berkeley. seismologists say the quake occurred on the hayward fault which is considered overdue. it struck as a television anchor was on the air. >> i believe we're feeling an earthquake right now. a pretty big earthquake. the studio is shaking. we just want to take a moment here to let you know. we have the seismograph right now and you can see we just had an earthquake in the bay area. looking at the this it appears
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sizable. >> see the red mark there? >> you can tell they were prepared. they have the seismograph that they can go right to it. they're used to that in the san francisco area, wolf. >> as they should be. angry protests in new york and calls for the police commissioner to step down after reports that new york police spied on muslim students. we'll have the update. and the nfl rocked by a huge scandal over a so-called bounty program that paid football players to take out their rivals. we'll have details of a confidential nfl memo coming up. she thought allstate car insurance was out of her reach. until she heard about the value plan. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting,
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quote
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and now to a surprising
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twist to a controversial muslim surveillance program used by new york city police. already outraged the islamic students but not other muslims are coming out in support of the program. mary shnow is joining us from nw york. >> reporter: the defender of the nypd surveillance program held a rally outside the police headquarters and some american-muslim leaders are saying police should be thanked. as pressure points on the nypd over its surveillance of us muslims, republican congressman, peter king, chairman of the committee on homeland security came to its defense. >> the nypd is not spying. they can carrying out effective surveillance. if they were not doing what they were doing that would be nejtd and remiss in their duties. >> reporter: but some muslim-american protesters are calling on the police commissioner to step down. anger at the nypd comes following the leaking of a 60-page report documents surveillance of university muslim student associations in
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the northeast. >> the revelation that there's been surveillance is infuriating but i sort of suspected it. >> reporter: this is a muslim-american law student and she says the surveillance program will backfire. >> i think to profile people is not only illegal and immoral, it alienates an entire community and makes us all unsafe. the muslim communities in new york can't trust the nypd and that's a cause for concern. >> reporter: not all muslim-americans agree. this is a controversial film, warning of islamic troichl and testified that muslim radicalization hearings held by king. >> we are not here to criticize the nypd, but rather to thank them for doing a lot of the work that we, as muslims, should be doing which is monitoring extremism. >> they also pit the n yechlt pd against new jersey officials. governor chris christie said the nypd did not share information about muslims in new jersey,
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something the nypd disputes. >> this is the new york police department. i know they think they're jurisdiction is the world. >> in a speech this weekend, the commissioner ray kelly defended the nypd's action saying undercover investigations begin with leads adding -- the police department will not apologize for our lawful efforts to protect new york. and we will not change our methods to satisfy those whom impune them without understanding them. that answer is not easing tension. over the weekend, new jersey officials met with leaders of muslim organizations and those groups want to stay to investigate the nypd surveillance program. that's something that new york's attorney general has declined to do. wolf? >> mary, thank you very much. and a major scandal over the national football league over a bounty program that paid players for hurting their opponents. ahead, details of a secret nfl memo and what might happen next. plus, a rhode island politician catches heat for a
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bizarre tv appearance with his 5-year-old son. video you don't want to miss. so who ordered the cereal that can help lower cholesterol
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amazingly popular american sport is now caught up in a
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major scandal. an nfl coach is accused of paying players extra money to injure their opponents, injure their opponents. now the so-called bounties could cost him and the teams he's worked for. cnn brian todd is joining us. as an nfl fan, this is truly shocking what has been going upon. >> reporter: it is, wolf, and it's going to get worse and nfl.com yooirting the league source that the central figure in the scandal, defensive coordinator gregg williams met with nfl security officials after reports emerged that he might have been involved in similar practices with other teams he coached. the nfl's investigation was very extensive and the league hadn't even doled out punishment yet. it's wildly popular and recession-proof, in no small measure because of its violence. now the nfl has a major scandal on its hands at a time when it's enforcing new rules on concussion injuries. according to a league investigation, the new orleans saints had a bounty program that
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paid players for injuring opponents. as many as 27 players were involved, the nfl says, were paid $1500 for a knockout taking an opposing player out of the game. $1,000 for a so-called "cart off" when a player had to be carried from the field. >> i think it's going to be a huge scandal and it will involve multiple suspensions, some of them a half a son or more in length. involving coaches, players, and heavy sanctions towards one of the leagues growing and exciting franchising, the new orleans saints. >> "sports illustrated" writer, peter king said he saw a confidential memo sent to all 32 teams, part of the investigation and he said the memo details some bounties including one in the 2010 nfc championship game between the saints and minnesota vikings who had 40-year-old quarterback brett favre under center. >> the nfl has named a player, linebacker jonathan a
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star defensive player for the saints that the before this game he offered $10,000 in cash according to the nfl top anyone on the field that day for the saints who would put brett favre out of the game. >> favre took several vicious hits in that game. left the game temporarily, but finished. we could not reach jonathan vilma for comment. the saints issued a statement saying the team is cooperating with the nfl's probe. the bounty program was administered by then saints defensive coordinator gregg williams, now with the st. louis rams. williams issue aid statement to the new orleans times picayune taking full responsibility saying it was a terrible mistake and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. instead of getting caught up in it, i should have stopped it. this may be only the beginning "the washington post" reports that the washington redskins had a similar bounty system when gregg williams was their defensive coordinator in the mid-towels and reports the nfl
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will also investigate the redskins. i spoke with cynthia boren of the post. >> they will investigate the redskins. there are some allegations about the titans when gregg williams was with tennessee. i'd be surprised if they didn't look into that. >> the redskins would not comment on the post report. joe gibbs who was the redskins' head coach when williams was defensive coordinator said he had no knowledge of a redskins bounty program. one former redskin, cornerback fred smoot who played under williams told a radio program that gregg williams never put a dime into the money pot, that the players did it themselves. wolf? >> it's shocking. i got to tell you, but getting back to the saints, was the head coach of the new orleans saints sean payton directly involved or knew about the program? >> the nfl says payton did not directly participate, was not involved in administering the program but knew about the allegations and failed to stop it. peter king also says mickey loomis, the saints general manager had been told at least once to stop the program and did not do it. you're going to see a lot of
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sanctions here. >> this story is not going away. john king is going to be speaking with a player who used to play under the coach, the assistant coach gregg williams coming up for our north american viewers on john king usa at the top of the hour. let's check backing with jack cafferty for the cafferty file. >> question this hour is will super tuesday which is tomorrow, clarify the gop situation further? or confuse things further? nate in indiana, i'm not expecting any epiphanies from super tuesday. each of the camps has enough of a revenue stream to carry on operations and believe too deeply in their arguments about why the other candidates are not acceptable. jerome in louisville, if romney wins ohio, it's over. if he doesn't win ohio, it's still over. romney will be the nominee. michael in alabama, i feel tomorrow's primaries will do nothing but further lengthen the campaigns and cause more division. gingrich could win georgia, santorum could win ohio, and ron paul could actually win
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somewhere. romney better get ready for a long drawn-out fight all the way to the convention. charles writes it's aub there's no candidate that can defeat in the general election. let's cut our losses, let romney take the loss without our party losing at all. the republicans need to take back their party from the tea party and rush limbaugh before they try to back back the country. jeff rights not one will drop out. this clown show is far from over. charles in michigan. things will stay confused. republicans have a choice between a person who keeps his money in switzerland and the cayman islands or a person who wants to be pope of the united states. however, we may finally get rid of newt. david in las vegas writes with the choices the gop has at the moment, super tuesday means the media will interrupt the ending of my favorite tv shows with useless updates about candidates we don't want. if you would like to read more about this, go to my blog, cnn.com/cafferty file or through our post on the situation room's facebook page.
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wolf? >> jack, thank you. rhode island politicians 5-year-old son is campaigning for his dad, but their bizarre tv appearance has a lot of people talking. >> this is economics for 5-year-olds. do you know -- outdoors, or in. transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it is meant to be seen. maybe even a little better. experience life well lit, ask for transitions adaptive lenses.
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politicians appearance with his son is getting a lot of attention. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: kids on tv, they scratch, they sigh. >> and the reality is -- >> they love to make faces. but that isn't why this interview by fox's neil cavuto was pronounced creepiest thing ever. it wasn't what the kid did. it was his dad. >> what are your friends saying when they see you on tv? >> i don't know the right now. >> did you notice the dad's lips moving. sort of like a bad ventariliquist? the boy is 5-year-old hudson hinckley who did a cute political commercial for his dad, a republican from rhode island running for the u.s. senate. >> this is national debt when i was born. and this is the national debt what it is now. yuk. >> but when they were interviewed by cavuto. >> are you worried about our debt? >> are you worried about paying back the money? >> no. >> but what do you expect?
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the kid's 5. the creepy part, the part that made meed its writer go want to wash my eyes out was watching the dad when hudson was asked what he wants to be when he grows up. >> i want to be in the war and save the country. >> when we showed the clip, everyone had a theory. >> he's already told him what to say. >> it looks like they're both reading from the same script or tell teleprompter. >> i want to be a good senator. >> really? >> it reminds me of like a is taken mom, they rehearse it and see their kids on stage and like say exactly what i told to you say. >> why were you mouthing the words that he said? >> i'm not sure. obviously, we were both a bit nervous because the first time we did national tv. there there was no conspiracy theory, no cue cards. >> a psychologist told cnn this type of repetition can happen when someone is anxious about how a child or a spouse is being perceived. some suggested it might be a verbal tic, the involuntary tic
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of echoing. >> god, no. i've done hundreds of interviews myself. it was just the first time i've worked with a 5-year-old live. obviously it didn't go as planned but live and learn. >> if it feels like an act, say maxwell and hugo. >> you'll tell them it wasn't my fault. >> what sort of dummy do you think i am? >> at least hudson and barry survived the interview unlike hugo. but read my lips, no more interviews together. >> this is real dad. >> jeanne moos, cnn. >> i want to be a good senator. >> really? >> new york. >> good for him. good senator. we need good senators. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. all of our super tuesday coverage tomorrow. for now, i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." "the situation room." the news continues next. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> i'm john king

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